Have you, as a parent, ever had the thought that if you had to tell your child to do something one more time, there might be blood on your hands? Or, if you are a student, found yourself questioning your intelligence, because, “How smart can I really be if I can’t even remember to charge my Chromebook every day?!”
What makes Executive Functioning (EF) skills so hard is not that they are rocket science – in fact, just the opposite. It is the utter common sense nature of most underlying habits that make up these skills that make them so hard to remember to do! All EF skills require the development of habits – and, as everyone knows, habit development takes time, effort, and, the biggest culprit, repetition.
But there is hope – and small things matter! SEEING is a very effective visual prompt – which may be something as simple as just opening the planner, looking at your if-then plans, or setting an intention in the morning.
My second suggestion would be WRITING – again an extremely effective visual prompt that helps make the activity/ plan concrete. List the plan for the day; the steps required to get to the desired goal (e.g; “wake up at 6:30 a.m, breakfast and dressed by 7:00 a.m to make the bus on time”), or just your intention.
INTENTION! Setting the intention, being able to see it everyday, makes it a part of our subconscious brain, thus eventually eliminating the need to create active reminders. Set the intention in the morning (“keep desk organized!”), or right before the activity (“Steps to complete the diorama for Biology”)
USE WHAT YOU KNOW. Most times, we already have the skills required to succeed. Many times, we have created the tools suggested above, often, over and over. Use what you know, and use what tools you have learnt. Often we have learned and created much, but simply do not call on what we know or avoid using for one reason or another.
Finally, building habits requires self-regulation and discipline. Building consistency is a practice, and take time. And as with anything else, there will be ups and downs. So BE PATIENT, and TRUST THE PROCESS.
For more information and access to tools, guides, and other tips, visit us on the web at www.Solutionsforstudentsuccess.com. Or Contact Solutions for Student Success for a free consultation on how to develop Executive Functioning Skills.